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    We spoke to some of the service users and were very impressed with the effort your Manager goes to, to help the service users in his care/charge. It was credit to him that they were well presented and the properties were clean and tidy.

    A stakeholder

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    Based on this experience of the service from your company, I've been raving about how good it's been and look forward to working alongside you in the future.

    A Hampshire stakeholder

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    I also believe the success in our region is due to the excellent working relationship we enjoy with your staff.

    A regional customer

Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement April 2016 to March 2017

Background

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced an obligation on organisations to produce an annual statement of the measures they have taken to ensure there is no modern slavery (including human trafficking) in their own businesses or supply chains.

Any commercial organisation in any sector carrying on a business in the UK, with a total annual turnover of £36 million or more, is required to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year.

The obligation (for those it applies to) is to produce a statement of the steps taken to ensure there is no modern slavery taking place, not to guarantee that it isn't happening. This statement sets out the steps that we have taken in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Clearsprings Ready Homes Ltd (Ready Homes) provides accommodation services across London, the South of England and Wales, managing approximately 1760 properties, and we have approximately 83 employees.

The current supply chain includes 724 active suppliers for this financial year to date (February 2017) with spend to date for this financial year at £13.8m.

Steps taken to address Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Ready Homes began by undertaking due diligence to identify where modern slavery and/or human trafficking might take place within our business and supply chains. Ready Homes will monitor modern slavery and human trafficking in line with our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy, which will be introduced to make our position on this issue clear. The policy will reflect our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains. Board approval of the policy will be requested in August 2017 and then communicated to all staff during September 2017.

Our Supply Chain

The current supply chain includes major national companies, regional companies and small medium enterprises together with local family businesses.

A breakdown of the spend with active suppliers for this financial year to date is as follows:

  • 37 suppliers with spend above £50k
  • 58 suppliers with spend between £20k and up to £50k
  • 91 suppliers with spend between £10k and up to £20k
  • 538 suppliers with spend up to £10k

The Ready Homes policy is for suppliers with spend above £50k per annum to have a signed contract in place. These suppliers will be required to confirm that they have their own Modern Slavery statement (if they meet the statutory thresholds) in place. The project to complete this work is expected to be concluded by the end of September 2017.

From March 2016, all new tender exercises have included the legal requirement for antislavery and human trafficking to be included and bidders have been expected to uphold the same values, as part of the bidding process they are required to:

  • Confirm that they have their own Modern Slavery statement [if they meet the statutory thresholds] and provide a copy
  • Acceptance to insert clauses into new supplier contracts that the supplier will take its own steps to eradicate slavery and that prohibit the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour

Our employees

When we are carrying out recruitment, we ask candidates to bring with them to interview proof of their eligibility to work in the UK. Ideally, the candidate will produce their passport. If they do not have a passport or it has expired, they are required to provide other evidence, as outlined in the Asylum and Immigration Guidance.

Ready Homes Whistleblowing Policy is mentioned within the organisations Code of Conduct/ Employee Handbook. This is cascaded to all new employees at their day one induction, we check that they have read the policies and, if not, ensure they have time to do so within their first week of employment.

All Ready Homes staff have been made aware of the Whistleblowing Policy, which provides details of how to raise a concern about, for example, modern slavery. Anyone who raises a genuine concern under the Whistleblowing Policy is protected against reprisals.

Our customers

As part of the day to day operations for customer facing employees the following guidance is accessible and communicated:

How staff and contractors can spot the signs of modern slavery

Abuse of individuals is not always clear cut. Someone could choose to work for less than the minimum wage, or in an unsafe condition, and not necessarily be forced or deceived.
Signs of slavery are often hidden, making it even harder to recognise victims. Some are more apparent, for example:

  • A tenant's home taken over against the tenant's will by drug dealers to use as a base from which to supply drugs
  • Persons forced into prostitution and controlled
  • Enforced production or growing of drugs such as cannabis.
  • Victims are forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households with little or no pay, restricted movement, very limited or no free time, minimal privacy and joint surrender in favour of a sole tenancy
  • Often sleeping where they work.

Some common signs which can be identifiers of slavery

  • Physical Appearance: Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt, or appear withdrawn
  • Isolation: Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control, influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work
  • Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and/or living and working at the same address, locks on internal doors together with lots of mattresses present in the property
  • Few or no personal effects: Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and always wear the same clothes day in day out. What clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work
  • Restricted Freedom of Movement: Victims have little opportunity to move freely and may have had their travel documents retained, e.g. passports
  • Unusual Travel Times: Victims may be dropped off/collected for work on a regular basis either very early or late at night
  • Reluctance to seek help: Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help, fear of deportation, fear of violence to them or their family.

All contractors are provided with Ready Home's Safeguarding Policy and, where appropriate, training is also provided to contractors. The policy has a clear reporting mechanism for all staff/contractors to ensure that if any concerns are noticed, they will be actioned.

Further Steps

This statement and our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy will be communicated to all Managers by the end of August 2017.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 5th April 2017.
It was approved by our Board on 20th May 2017.

Signed

Managing Director

Managing Director
Clearsprings Ready Homes Ltd
Date: 4th June 2017

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Telephone +44 (0) 1268 740200 | info@ready-homes.com
Clearsprings Ready Homes Ltd | 26 Brook Road | Rayleigh | SS6 7XJ
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